Dummies Guide to Cannabis
As with many industries, there are often terms used by those on the “inside” that makes it hard for those that are new to the community to understand what these “insiders” are banging on about. Naturally, we then feel these communities are reserved for those that are in the know or, even worse, the terms scare us so much we don’t even give it a go.
We don’t want this to be the case and for terminology to deter you from trying CBD and, more importantly, our delicious CBD edible and CBD vape products, as then you are just missing out!
So we have put together a little “dummies dictionary” for cannabis and CBD terminology. Simplifying some of the CBD terms you may have heard or come across that left you befuddled.
As always, give us a shout to firstname.lastname@example.org you have any questions!
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol / CBD
CBD stands for Cannabidiol, one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in hemp. CBD is non-psychoactive meaning is cannot get you high.
A cannabinoid is a type of chemical compound found in cannabis strains, including hemp. There are over 150 cannabinoids together with a range of terpenes present in the hemp plant and other cannabis strains – the main ones being CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Tetrahydrocannabinoid / THC
THC or at least its effects are probably well known to most of us. Remember that time when sitting glued to the sofa unable to move after a “relaxing” hash brownie…? THC is this psychoactive compound associated with getting “high” and is currently illegal in the UK when found in concentrations exceeding 1mg per item.
Terpenes are the fragrant organic compounds - hydrocarbons secreted in the trichomes of the flower - found in hemp, marijuana and several other herbs and fruit and plant groups giving them their unique fragrance.
Ways of taking CBD
Any CBD infused item which can be eaten or swallowed is a CBD edible. Drinks, CBD gummies, CBD chocolate and technically even oral CBD oil drops / tinctures. As we’ve mentioned before, the effect from edibles takes much longer to feel than other methods of consumption such as vaping as the relevant cannabinoids need to pass through the digestive system before they are absorbed into the blood stream, although for this same reason typically have a longer lasting effect on the body.
CBD Oil Drops / Tinctures
Anything that comes in small bottle and you drop under your tongue with a pipette is a tincture. This is one of the fastest ways of absorbing CBD into the blood stream given the rich blood supply under the tongue.
Any CBD product such as a spray, balm, lotion or cream is known as a topical, and is usually best suited for skin based conditions or deeper muscular relief.
There are two main ways of vaping CBD. First is via the traditional method of vaping favoured in Europe, using a CBD e liquid. This is created when a CBD isolate or CBD distillate is dissolved in a mixture of vegetable glycerine (VG) propylene glycol (PG). But unlike the tobacco substitute vapes, CBD vapes made this way typically do not contain any added nicotine so are not addictive – great news!
Another method of vaping CBD and other Cannabis products is to directly vape their pure CBD distillate / oil. This is a much less common way of vaping in Europe compared to the US, largely for cultural reasons and because your CBD vape pen and CBD vape cartridges need to be produce enough heat to heat and vaporise these viscous oils. These tend to be much stronger than vaping CBD e liquids.
Remember also that the oil in CBD Tinctures / Oil Drops are for oral use only. They are different to CBD vape oils because they are mixed with dilutents such as MCT or hemp oil and therefore should not be vaped.
Types of CBD products
In Europe, Hemp is the plant which CBD is extracted from, and is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant which has high amounts of CBD but low amounts of THC (less than 0.2% which is the legal limit for THC content in industrial hemp in most of Europe). Historically hemp was one of the most important crops used for oils, cloth, rope and building materials, but gradually lost favour with the invention of plastics in the 20th century.
CBD Extract / Distillate
To get from hemp to consumable CBD, you need to extract the CBD. This is usually done via a process called CO2 extraction. CBD extract / distillate is the concentrated extract which is the result of this process which is then either filled, undiluted, directly into vape cartridges to make high concentration CBD oil vape cartridges or diluted down using carrier oils to make other CBD products such as e liquids, oral oil drops or creams.
Full Spectrum / Broad Spectrum
When CBD is extracted from hemp as described above, the resulting extract is “Full Spectrum” meaning is contains a full spectrum of all the other naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, including THC. Broad Spectrum products, such as the ones we sell, are those where all the other natural cannabinoids are still present, but all traces of THC have been removed in order to comply to UK legislation!
This is CBD in its purest form, where all other cannabinoids, terpenes, plant matter and flavonoids are refined away from CBD extract / distillate.
Other Science-y Words
Endocanabinoid System (ECS)
Whatever the desired effects of using CBD, its potentially therapeutic benefits would not be possible without our bodies having a biological system capable of interacting and processing cannabinoids such as CBD.
This internal system is called the endocannabinoid system (“ECS”) and is one of the most important physiological systems which maintains the body’s homeostatic system, the process by which body self-regulates its internal environment (regardless of changes to its external environment) in a state of equilibrium to allow for the body’s optimum performance.
This is the concept that different compounds in the cannabis / hemp plant – cannabinoids and terpenes – work together synergistically to create an effect which is more than the sum of their parts resulting in the maximum effect in stimulating the body’s endocannabinoid system.